Chapter 6 answers the question with…‘My Neighbor is Someone Who Is Half Dead”. Wow! I guess not many of us have encountered someone who is half dead. Louis and I have. On our 4th date (3 1/2 years ago), Frank got shot 9 times outside our back door. By the time the paramedics arrived, he had no pulse and was only breathing once or twice a minute. He was left for dead, but God had another plan for him. Because Louis and I were home to respond with prayer and first aid. he survived. So, Frank was our neighbor that night. As time went by, Frank and his family became more than neighbors or friends, but they are family. We love them like they are our own. It’s been a real blessing for us to know Frank, Vicky, the girls and Geraldine.
But, like yesterday’s post, Neighbor 5: Someone Who Has Been Robbed, people can also be half dead emotionally. They may not be able to experience the full life that God intended them to have. Life full of joy unspeakable and full of glory. God can use us to help breathe life into another person with our words of encouragement and love. Sometimes life is just hard…and it stinks. We need to learn how to just be be there with and for our friends when they are troubled emotionally and spiritually without judgement. Be there in love…and love alone.
Lastly, we need to be there with people who are half dead spiritually because they continue to wallow in their sin. Gordon writes…
Ephesians 2:5 tells us that God “made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions –it is by grace you have been saved.” We need to resuscitate people in the our communities who are half dead and who don’t know Jesus Christ. For truly they are our neighbors.
Lord, thanks for using us as your hands and feet on Earth. You don’t need us, but you choose to use us to shine your glory. Forgive us for the times we are not paying attention, too busy or too selfish to notice who’s barely breathing around us. Open our eyes to see people around us who are walking around half dead emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Teach us how to love them like you love us…with patience, kindness, full of hope, and unconditionally. In your name we pray. Amen.
This is the 6th post in a series that I wrote about in who’s ur neighbor?. I am reading who is my neighbor? by Wayne Gordon and exploring just one chapter a day. In addition, I hope to post on each chapter each day…starting August 1st…no promises, though. The first one in the series can be found here: Neighbor 1: Hurting.
Chapter 5 answers the question with…‘My Neighbor is Someone Who Has Been Robbed”. It is easy to think of the people who have literally been robbed or burglarized, whose car was stolen, whose home was broken into, or whose wallet was taken out of their pocket or handbag. Yes…those are people who need a neighbor. I remember having my bag taken off my shoulder in the middle of the street one evening…robbed of a few dollars and a couple of Clinique Lipsticks. Thankfully, it was a small bag with little money. But, I was shaken none-the-less.
In addition, Gordon got me thinking about folks who have been robbed of their dignity, or robbed of their innocence or virginity or robbed of a healthy home life. My heart breaks for them…and they need a neighbor.
This post focuses on one who has been robbed of the truth. We have all been sucked into the ‘Material World’ – that money is the answer to everything. I see it on FB and Twitter a lot….all about makin’ ‘bank’, ‘dough’, ‘benjamins’, etc. We often care more about what car we drive, what shoes we wear or bag we carry, or how many games we have. We are also robbed of “community”, and we think that it’s based off how many people are our ‘friends’, ‘followers’, ‘text’ etc. Many are robbed of deep and intimate friendships and hide behind their smartphone or laptop (or MacBook in my case!).
We have been robbed into believing the lies that Satan whispers in our ears. That we aren’t smart enough, cool enough, or good enough to succeed. We believe that the things we have done…aren’t really all that bad and we water down the Truth, but in fact…they are still sins. Then there are others …at the opposite extreme. We think that what we have done is too bad to be forgiven. Well, the Bible tells me….all have sinned and fallen short (Rom 3:23). We need to be there for folks who have been robbed of Truth. Truth shall set you free. (John 8:32)
Gordon ends the chapter with…
Who do you know who has been robbed? That person is your neighbor. Reach out and offer your love. And remember that your action may benefit more than just that person, because you never know who might be watching and might be drawn closer to Christ because of your example.
Lord, your Word tells us that if we seek truth, we will find it and we will be set free. May your Holy Spirit pour out a desire to seek and discern truth. Provide us the wisdom to share truth. Make us hungry for your Word, for it is a lamp unto my feet and a light onto my path. Give us the desire to pray for those who have been tricked into believing the lies of Satan. May we come to know and share the TRUTH that shall set us and others free. Pour it out, oh Lord. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
This is the 5th post in a series that I wrote about in who’s ur neighbor?. I am reading who is my neighbor? by Wayne Gordon and exploring just one chapter a day. In addition, I hope to post on each chapter each day…starting August 1st…no promises, though. The first one in the series can be found here: Neighbor 1: Hurting.